All snakes are hunters and predators, feeding on the animals and sometimes
their eggs. Having no limbs, snakes cannot hold their preys down to bite;
hence they usually swallow them whole. Poisonous snakes sometimes do
immobilize their preys with their venom
to make consumption easier.
Most poisonous snakes are conspicuously
colored to warn others off. One example is the redheaded krait which has a
bluish-black body and scarlet head and tail. Snakes like the cobras, which
have less outstanding body colors, display their fatality by lifting the
front part of their body and spreading their hoods.
It is truly a myth that poisonous snakes attack humans for food. Humans
can never be their targets for food as we are normally too large for them to
swallow. in cases where snakes do bite, these attacks are usually defensive
ones and the venom injected is normally little or sometimes even none. The
full, fatal dose of the venom is only released on smaller animals which the
snakes can swallow easily. Besides helping in the killing and immobilizing
of their preys, the poison also acts as digestive agents for snakes.
Why then is the venom so deadly ? In general, there are three kinds of
poisons in the venom, though in varying amounts, depending on the type of
snake in question. Venoms usually contain substances that weaken the blood
corpuscles and the lining of the blood vessels. Profuse bleeding, often a
common result of snake-bites, is caused by the anticoagulants present in the
poison which prevents blood clotting. The paralysis of the heart and
respiratory muscles is performed by the nervous system attacking toxins.
Though these bites are deadly, certain actions can be taken to slow down
the spread of the venom, hence saving the victim's life. Attempting to
incise and suck at the spot of the bite
is more likely to be harmful than a cure. The poisonous venom usually
travels fast into the body upon being released; hence sucking at the mouth
of the wound will not help remove the poison, rather, incising the bite may
lead the victim to great pain and further profuse bleeding. Instead, a
broad, firm crepe bandage should be
applied over the would and up the full limb to compress the tissues and
prevent the spread of the venom. After which, the victim must be duly sent
to the hospital for professional treatment.
Snakes attack larger animals like us when they are
disturbed. These bites are not fatal as little or none of the venom is
released. The full, deadly dose of poison is used to kill smaller animals
for food. Snake venoms contain three types of poisons, usually varying in
amounts There are substances that weaken the blood cells and walls of blood
vessels; anticoagulants to prevent blood clotting, which results in profuse
bleeding and toxins to paralyze the heart and respiratory muscles. When
bitten by a snake, one should apply a broad bandage over the wound and up
the limb to help compress the tissues and prevent the spread of the venom
before sending the victim the hospital.
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